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Moment of Truth    by Lisa Scottoline order for
Moment of Truth
by Lisa Scottoline
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the author's seventh book and features young attorney Mary DiNunzio from the Phildaelphia firm of Rosato & Associates (Bennie Rosato is away on vacation for the length of this novel and Mary's friend Judy Carrier has only a minor role this time). Moment of Truth is the case of a lawyer who frames himself and then engages an untried attorney, Mary, to ensure his own conviction.

Jack Newlin, a partner in a prestigious law firm, calls the police to say that he has murdered his rich wife using a Henkels butcher knife left out to slice the appetizer for their dinner. The police and a driven D.A. are happy to have an obvious solution to a high profile case, and the evidence seems compelling. Only black Detective Reg Brinkley, who dislikes and distrusts lawyers, thinks that Jack is lying and works stubbornly to substantiate his view, to his partner's dismay.

Mary believes that Jack is protecting his sixteen year old daughter, Paige, a young model who was expected for dinner the evening of the murder. Attracted to her client, Mary is determined to dig out the truth, with help from retired cop Lou Jacobs. However, each claim that she makes reduces her credibility with the police department and increases her personal danger. Out on bail, Jack also gets involved as he begins to doubt his daughter's responsibility for the crime.

Mary is a wonderful character, whose warm family background adds to her charm. Moment of Truth starts with an unusual premise and maintains a reader's interest with conflict amongst the investigators, a touch of romance and a twisting, turning plot. If Scottoline is not already on your must read mystery list, maybe she should be.

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